Streetwise Professor

August 15, 2014

Chutzpah Alert, Sergei Shoigu Edition

Filed under: History,Music,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:16 pm

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to his Russian opposite number, Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu ranted to Hagel about the fascist Ukrainians, saying that “the use of combat aviation and heavy artillery, including multiple-launch rocket systems and missiles against civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region was unacceptable.”

Talk about chutzpah. This coming from a man responsible for arming rebels in Ukraine that do everything-everything (except the use of combat aviation)-that he condemns. They do all that, and more: e.g., shooting down jetliners with nearly 300 innocent people aboard.

Good rule of thumb: whatever Russians rant about, is what the Russians are doing.

If Hagel had been anyone but the ignorant dolt* that he is, he would have schooled Shoigu on some history. Recent history. Russian history. Putin’s history.

In a word: Grozny.

Russian forces obliterated Grozny not once, but twice. The first time in 1994-1995, the second in 2000.

In the Yeltsin-era assault, Russian infantry and armor proved so incompetent in its initial assault on the city that the Russians were forced to resort to indiscriminate firepower: they leveled the place with artillery and bombing. The results are shown in this picture. As is always the case, the number of civilian casualties is in dispute, but accepted figures run in the tens of thousands.

Putin leveled Grozny again as part of his campaign to establish himself as a popular Russian leader. The Russian military avoided the mistakes of the first Grozny campaign and waited to deploy the armor and infantry until after they had unleashed an intense aerial and artillery bombardment. Most of the civilians had fled, but 40-50 thousand still remained. The Chechen rebels had dug in deeply, and the Russians had to root them out from their cellars and trenches. They had used thermobaric weapons sparingly in 94-95, but they used them indiscriminately in 99-00. The Buratino system rained fire down on the Chechen fighters-and the many civilians that were intermixed with them. And by “rain fire” I mean that literally, not figuratively. That’s what thermobaric weapons do.

Thermobaric weapons-fuel-air explosives-are truly grim weapons. This provides considerable detail on the weapons, and how the Russians-how Putin-deployed them in Grozny.

But the Chechens should feel lucky. The Russians decided not to employ chemical weapons.

I could also go into Russian use of artillery and air power during the Russo-Georgian War. And Russian support for Assad’s indiscriminate use of firepower-and chemical weapons-in Syria.

Hagel should have shoved all this back in Shoigu’s face, and told him to STFU. It is beyond chutzpah for Putin and his creatures to lecture Ukraine, and the world, about the use of artillery and airpower on civilians.

Putin wrote the book on this, when he first took power. He secured this power in Russia by obliterating Grozny. Russians loved him for it.

This is the same Putin who says sugary words about his desire for his desire to avoid war and confrontation in Ukraine.

Don’t believe a word of it, and don’t dare let him or his minions lecture anyone on the use of firepower on civilians.

*And likely drunk. His face has alkie written all over it.

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  1. Does anyone have actual proof that the airliner was taken down by those that oppose the Nazis in Kiev. There does seem to be a number of people that suggest it might have been the murdering Nazis that USA and EU support. So where is the proof?

    Comment by Michael — August 15, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

  2. What I find apalling is the role the OSCE is playing in this. On Russian TV, every evening they show this character Paul Picard who explains how OSCE observers are watching over the Russia-Ukraine border. This evening he promised that the moment the 280-truck convoy crosses the border, all 53 OSCE member states will be notified. This is the day after two British journalists saw a Russian column of APC’s crossing the border into Ukraine (needless to say, Paul Picard’s crack team of observers hasn’t noticed anything).

    Comment by aaa — August 15, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

  3. @aaa. I agree completely. But any international organization, especially one in which Russia has an effective veto, will inevitably be feckless when confronted by brute force. It has been so since the League in the 20s.

    Paul Picard won’t remind anyone of Jean Luc, that’s for sure. Hell, Gomer Pyle running around shouting “citizens arrest! citizens arrest!” would be more effectual that Picard and OSCE.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 16, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

  4. @Michael: your use of the phrase “Nazis” in regards to the government of Kiev tells me that you are either a paid Russian troll or a useful idiot, but as far evidence:

    That’s way more evidence than the “number of people that suggest it might have been the murdering Nazis that USA and EU support” can offer, especially when many of them rely on either outright lies or fabrications cut from whole cloth to come up with an alternative.

    Comment by Blackshoe — August 18, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  5. That’s probably just Vladimir under his old pen names of Michael(Tal)/Ostap/VOR etc Blackshoe.
    If it is the same chap, he spent a lot of time denying that there was ever any ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, even claiming they never really lived there at all…

    Comment by Andrew — August 19, 2014 @ 4:37 am

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